Routines are great and, with twins, I would say essential.
My life revolves around BabyBoy and BabyGirl’s routine – when they need to eat and sleep and play. Now they are a bit more flexible as they’re almost a year, but particularly in months 3 – 9 things were tightly organized and I was always always trying to be ready for the next thing.
When I took the babies ‘home’ to visit my parents and sisters overseas for several weeks at 6 months, I was in hyper-organized mode. There was a system, and it just could not break down (partly a symptom of my PND, but mostly because I knew the chaos that would result if things like feeds were not ready on time). I planned and planned and planned. Everything was bought in advance. Areas of the house were rearranged to accommodate cots, changing tables, playmats, highchairs. I sent copies of the daily routine out via email before we arrived. I arranged for a nanny to come for a few hours every morning to help so that I could get some sleep, and a cleaner to come in twice a week so that my mum could spend more time with the babies instead of housework. The only downtime I had was an hour after the babies went to bed and I had finished preparing for the next day.
And I have just learned that I was classified as a mean b***h by two of my sisters. Apparently I was not considerate when asking them to help (particularly at dinner and bathtime, different tasks were carried out by different people) and barked orders.
It may well be true that I was super-organized to the point of being a pain. That I insisted that everything be ready. That I was curt when distracted by the crying baby on my hip, and got annoyed if things were not in the right place and the right time.
But why? Because I was protecting my babies – they needed to eat and sleep and feed at specific times. You can’t tell two babies to wait while someone searches for the cups which have not been washed from the last meal, or as you measure out the feeds that were not prepared in advance. Also because I was scared, this was the first time I was away from Multidaddy since the babies arrived. Because my hormones were in overdrive and I was severely anaemic. And because I was so dead tired from dealing with babies who were jet lagged and then still waking up at all hours of the night – only I did the night shift.
So right now I’m angry and upset. I don’t want to go ‘home’ if it’s going to be that hard. I have a nice life here, maybe they should just get on a plane and visit us.
Or maybe I was unreasonable? Answers on a postcard…